In the 1940s the occupation authorities prohibited Judo teaching in Japan. Judo was practiced underground only.
The only Judo monument in Russia named “Throw” is situated in Chelyabinsk. Russian solidly built moustached guy throws his rival down on his back with a graceful throw. Russian President Vladimir Putin has a scaled-down silver copy of the sculpture in his possession.
Jigoro Kano, the Judo founder, was a physically weak boy until he was 15 and was not strong-built at all. Surely, peers often beat Kano. That’s why he decided to take up single combat sport. At the age of 22 Kano created a new martial art named Judo.
If all athletes arriving to the Judo World Championships line up along the Kirov street, the line will stretch from the Revolution Square to the circus.
Judo has been used in Japanese police training since 1886. A set of arresting techniques to detain criminals, Renkoho Waza, was developed especially for the police.
Judo is the most popular kind of single combat in the world. A total of 28 million people in the world practice Judo, 8 million of them are in Japan and about 200 thousand - in Russia.
There are 12 dan grades in Judo, not 10 as it is commonly believed. No one has ever been promoted to the rank of the 11th dan, and the 12th dan was awarded to a single person - Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo. Russian President Vladimir Putin holds the grade of the 8th dan.
Many politicians were Judo amateurs. The USA President Theodore Roosevelt regularly practiced Judo in specially equipped premises of the White House with a trusted delegate of a Japanese teacher. Even Angela Merkel, the Germany's Chancellor, was fond of that martial art. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is also known for his love to Judo. In 2010 Putin, holding the grade of the 8th dan, received honorary diploma "Doctor in Judo” of South Korean Yongin University.
Many famous actors practiced Judo at some time. For example, Hollywood film director Guy Ritchie, actors Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris often use Judo techniques in their films. As for Russian actors, Dmitry Pevtsov, Dmitry Nagiev and stunt player Aleksandr Inshakov learned Judo.
For the first time Judo was included in the XVIII Olympics in Tokio in 1964. Medals were awarded in 4 classes. Soviet judoists won four bronze medals. Such a success immediately made the USSR one of the countries with the strongest Judo schools in the world.
Judo techniques became the basis of many modern martial art systems including Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Russian Sambo. By the way, one of the founders of Sambo Vasily Oschepkov was a holder of the second Dan in Judo - at that time this achievement was really unique for a European.
Before 1914 Judo in Russia was practically unknown, although some techniques of this martial art, taken from foreign books on self-defence, were studied at the St. Petersburg Police School since 1902.
In 1907 Kano’s Judo was so widely spread that it was introduced into the program of secondary general education schools in Japan.
Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, was strict and at the same time heartfelt teacher. He trained to strict discipline, but nobody had to pay for the studies in his school, and he was brought rice and tea instead. Kano sewed sports clothing for his students himself.
Yasuhiro Yamashita is the only judoist in the world who retired from sports undefeated. He drew 217 official single combats and lost none.